12th Nov, 2015By Softmints9 minutes

Comfortably one of the most refined AoS experiences in the genre, Desert of Exile is 6v6 map built on the premise that simple, elegant systems can produce complex and engaging gameplay when their parts are allowed to interact.

It is the first AoS to adopt this philosophy seriously, and it is executed with confidence and discipline. There are no half-baked systems, nor any peripheral mechanics that don't quite tie in with the rest.

3rd Sep, 2015By Softmints8 minutes

In a world of mobas which are aiming for the skies, it's nice to see a project that executes well with a smaller scope. I was recently introduced to AoS Sunken Ruins (Quillraven, 2008-2010), which manages to provide a surprisingly complete AoS experience despite having less heroes, items, and supplementary mechanics than its peers.

The simplicity of the map objectives, and transparency of gold-spending options make Sunken Ruins a game to be played, rather than solved.

30th Jul, 2015By Softmints6 minutes

Just about every commercial MOBA shares the same victory condition of "destroy the enemy base". Is there anything that could be done to introduce some variety?

Before we begin, the word MOBA is used more inclusively by some people than others, so for clarification we need to divide the answer into two cases: lane-pushing games, and arenas.

2nd Jul, 2015By Softmints

Hi folks, just leaving a note to say that I've got plenty of content queued up, but have been busy with another project recently. There should be a double-feature over the next two weeks to make up for lost time.

EDIT: Circumstances have decided otherwise, it'll be ready "when it's ready" :/

7th May, 2015By Softmints

While writing the Tides of Blood review a few months ago, I found that screenshots simply weren't doing enough to convey the mechanics that I wanted to talk about. This led me to try recording some gifs, which turned out to be a great solution and a great way to make the material more engaging in general.

One of the things I have struggled with while writing reviews has been discussing heroes, particularly for maps where painstaking attention to hero design was a hallmark of the game. Hero design is a deep topic on which I have many opinions, and it isn't something I want to delve into in every review. But, with video content, now the heroes can speak for themselves.

Over the coming months, I will be revisiting and updating several reviews which I feel were sorely missing appreciation of their heroes, notably Advent of the Zenith and Age of Myths. To keep the site mobile-friendly, I am not embedding video directly, but linking instead.

If you have any feedback about video content, or anything else, feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.

7th May, 2015By Softmints8 minutes

Just before the Frozen Throne expansion was released in July 2003, Eul's Defence of the Ancients was easily among the most popular maps on Battle.net. But it was also a rare example of a map that didn't have tons of clones, since it was made using non-standard tools that made editing it difficult.